I laughed and offered him some food instead. After a highly entertaining exchange of food and wits, the decidedly cool homeless person sauntered off and I sat back, reflecting on the Sydney Prayer Breakfast I had just returned from, where prayers had been offered up for the homeless and those in need. I had immediately been given opportunity to put those prayers into action.
The morning's keynote speaker General David Hurley, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, had spoken of four key features of today's warfare environment: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). The answer to these, he shared, is in Christ, with whom stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity are found.
Looking around the Sydney Convention Centre that morning, where tables were shared by people of all manner of church styles and denominations, it was clear that these had been unifying factors to us all. I watched as Greek Orthodox priests were ushered to their seats by a member of the Anglican church, Pentecostals welcomed Catholics to their table, and Presbyterians joined in prayer with Baptists.
Each person represented a host of others who could not be there, yet whose support was felt in a morning of heart-warming unity. We worshipped together, led beautifully by Fatai Veamatahau of The Voice, and prayers were led by Governor of the RBA Glenn Stevens, among others. After the program, people stayed to mingle and share with those who they may not, in another context, have a chance of meeting.
Facilitating such inter-denominational relationship and making way for us to pray together serves as one of the greatest purposes of such events. I am not much of a breakfast person, but the chance to break bread in such a rich environment of diversity, where differences can be treated as a source of strength rather than anything else, is not one I was going to pass up. Even if it did start at 6:30am.
The morning showed how breakfasts like this build the body of Christ, the church, in a way that could be very significant moving forward. Jesus was very clear in his desire to return for a unified body of believers who had ironed out little wrinkles and disagreements in favour of harmony. Another reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Join the Sydney Prayer Breakfast next year. Tickets and more information at www.sydneyprayerbreakfast.com.au. City Bible Forum organises regular inter-denominational events in major cities (www.citybibleforum.org).
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer who doesn't often eat breakfast. When she does, she likes to make sure there are at least 600 people in attendance.
Grace Mathew's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html
Additional photos kindly provided by Ramon A Williams